Roanoke Rescue Mission Hosts Annual ‘Christmas Party’

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – On Saturday, December 25, the Roanoke Rescue Mission hosted their annual “Christmas Party,” providing a place to go and hot meals for those in need.

“It’s funny I’m choking,” said volunteer Niles Comer.

Comer is volunteering at the party this year and for him it’s a loop moment.

“Thirty years ago my dad ate a meal here on Christmas Day before he died,” Comer said.

Comer has made volunteering a holiday tradition this time of year.

“I’ve been doing this for two years now, but this is my fourth vacation,” Comer said.

Her father and two of her brothers were homeless and in need, like many of the people invited to the party today.

He lost them all.

“I don’t have a family anymore, so I come here and spend it with this family,” Comer said.

A family which, according to Comer, should not be judged.

“I’m doing this to remind myself that I’m just a bad choice to be here,” Comer said. “I am never above needing the services of a place like the Mission. “

Lee Clark, CEO of Rescue Mission of Roanoke, also knows that this day is more important than the meals served.

“If we can provide a good, nutritious hot meal for a person, it helps them connect. It helps them connect to the other services we offer, ”said Clark.

These services include medical and addiction programs that can help people get the help they need.

“All of these things come together to help this person who may feel isolated, scared, unsure of what’s next. We are there for these people in times of crisis, ”said Clark.

For Niles Comer, who has faced a ton of adversity, volunteering is his way of thanking the Mission.

“It’s really powerful for me to be able to come back here and say thank you to the rescue mission. Also, to say ‘look, I’m still here. I did it, ”Comer said. “I did it with the help of a lot of other people.”

Roanoke’s rescue mission fed at least 500 people during the fellowship.

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